Thank you Jimmy Bonner, The Richards Group and Ram Trucks for the opportunity to work on such a fantastic campaign. And, of course, thank you to our crew for helping making it all happen. Dust storms and all.
To see more of Andy Anderson’s work, including other work he has created for Ram, please link to his site.
Jim Smithson has been fortunate enough to work with Arnold Worldwide and Amtrak on some wonderful projects. As you can see from his post, shooting for Amtrak is so much more than taking beautiful photographs. Here is what Jim had to say about it.
“Nature can prove to be a formidable foe, especially when you’re taking a picture. But how about before you take a picture?” Check out what had to happen before we even took out our cameras…..
This was the second of three campaigns we shot for Amtrak and Arnold Worldwide. We had to capture 5 unique snow covered landscape images throughout Amtrak’s North East Regional line, and forces of nature took us to task in a variety of ways. Due to strict federal safety rules and the inherent danger of working around 150 mph projectiles, our entire crew had to fulfill safety training before we could set foot on the rails.
Because we had no idea when the snow would fly, this meant having to train 2 teams of crew in the event a crew member got booked on another gig. Once trained, everyone was on standby ready to fly at a moments notice, and I became a Weather Channel Junkie.
Our first glimmer of hope came in late December 2009. A cold arctic flow was traveling down from Canada colliding with moisture moving north from the Gulf of Mexico.
The God’s were smiling, or so I thought. After a generous dumping across the North Eastern Seaboard, I was pumped and ready to pull the trigger.
My elation quickly turned to despair when I was informed that Amtrak didn’t think it was a good idea to mobilize us during the holidays.
COUNT TO 10 JIM.
The month of January would prove to be one of the biggest months of accumulated snowfall on record back east. But the God’s were taunting me. All the storms tracked either north or south of our 100 mile stretch of approved locations. Oh no!
We were then approaching mid-February and still no love from the Gods. What did I have to do? Go to the crossroads and make a deal with the devil?
Then, a glimmer of hope. A storm system originating from the midwest was tracking east heading in the vicinity of Connecticut. 2 days seemed like 2 years as the southern part of the storm finally gave us a generous dusting.
The call went out. My LA crew was on a plane the following day and for the next 8 days we braved some very cold temps and trying conditions. We ended up having just enough snow and just barely enough time to pull it off.
Kudos to my super crew Tomás Arceo, Jeff Vogeding and Sady Callaghan for braving the elements and taking more than one for the team. A big shout also to creative director Bill Cutter for his vision and continued support and art buyer Andrea Ricker for her flawless attention to every last detail.
In his search for something new, different, inspirational or just silly, Hunter Freeman met a woman who owned a Isetta. He spent the day photographing and shooting video of her and her car. He was all smiles when he told us about what he learned.
“BMW actually made the first smart car, the Isetta. Ok, it’s perhaps not the first small car made for city driving, but it is certainly the coolest one. I mean, what other car like this has so much personality? You get in from the front?? What were those clowns at BMW thinking? Well, they were thinking genius thoughts, I’d say. Genius!! What a completely fun car to drive, and be seen driving in, right? Yep, it kinda is a clown car. Even back in the day, I’m sure they were turning heads. Today, this wonderful machine, a completely restored, mint condition 1956 BMW Isetta continues to make people smile: it spreads joy wherever it goes. Now, that’s a smart idea for car design.”
In his own words, Jim Smithson describes his technique for getting his model to cooperate, “For this test, shot on a real hot spring day, I employed (and by employ, i mean bribe with a trip to the local ice cream shop) my daughter Shelby to ham it up for the camera. She ended up falling off the tail gate and gashing her knee real bad but bounced back and hit the mark with her usual aplomb.”
Jimmy Bonner at The Richards Group hired Andy Anderson and partnered with him to shoot their new Ram campaign. Shooting close to 15 shots took them over two weeks. They found the rugged terrain they needed in Utah, Nevada and California. Our fingers are crossed that they can continue the campaign as the work has been getting such great attention.